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Solving crisis through authentic leadership

The Covid-19 pandemic, and the devastation it has wrought, has led to an acute crisis of leadership. One way to counter this is to evolve the notion of ‘authentic leadership.’ What is it? Read on.

Written by: Anantha Radhakrishnan

The global crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges, uncertainties, and demands on leadership. There is no known and proven framework to be resilient and lead during these uncertain times. In many situations, leaders have fallen back on their own crucibles of experience and understanding of the context to meet challenges. Many leaders, who have shared their experience of leading in the past few months, have spoken about the need to find and understand your true self to enable authenticity and empathy in interactions during such times.

Several leaders, while sharing their experiences, continue to highlight and action a few keywords such as honesty, authenticity, humility, self-awareness, and situation-awareness, while acknowledging vulnerability and empathy to achieve a larger purpose. We believe these are indeed the key ingredients that constitute authentic leadership. Most companies globally, therefore, are focusing on creating an environment of authenticity and developing authentic leaders to help navigate these uncertain and difficult times.

Along with a significant recessionary impact on the economy caused by the pandemic, what is also troubling the leadership across the world is that it challenges the social capital and collaboration frameworks like never before, that was built over decades.

Along with remote working, social distancing, and the stress of ensuring family wellbeing and good health, the global pandemic has also been difficult on account of financial, social, physical, and mental health parameters. This challenge can be countered across various dimensions by demonstrating authentic leadership.

What is authentic leadership?

Authentic leadership is to be yourself, raising one’s true worth to the full potential, and finding one’s north star. It is about purpose, passion, people, and performance. It is about finding a larger purpose, passionately pursuing it while inspiring people to work collaboratively and enabling them to deliver impactful performance. That essentially is what authentic leadership is all about.

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